Bearing Fruit in Old Age

I had a good sleep after our journey home from Slovakia.

I lie down and I sleep and I wake again sustained by The Lord.
Psalm 3 v 5.
These are days to rest after Brendan and my work in Eastern Slovakia.  We met beautiful families there.  It is a privilege to have the opportunity to share with others God’s goodness and mercy.

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I went out to the greenhouse to fetch a tomato for my breakfast.  Brendan was creating a treat for me on our first morning home.  One particular tomato plant has been blossoming and bearing fruit long after the others have withered.  I bought three different varieties of plants at the beginning of spring. The tomato plants all looked alike on the shelf at Homebase.  Gardener’s Delight is the only one still bearing fruit.  Take note anyone with a greenhouse and green fingers out there.
I was reminded of the scripture verse that says,
You shall bear fruit in old age.  Your leaf will not wither.

““But blessed is the one who trusts in the Lord, whose confidence is in him. They will be like a tree planted by the water that sends out its roots by the stream. It does not fear when heat comes; its leaves are always green. It has no worries in a year of drought and never fails to bear fruit.””
‭‭Jeremiah‬ ‭17:7-8‬ ‭NIV‬‬

I gathered some fruit.  Brendan called me for breakfast.  It was very welcome.  My strength will be renewed after a few more days of rest.

Later today my son was telling me about a lady he met recently.  She was a young at heart seventy eight year old.  She works in a Charity shop three days a week and travels from Carryduff with her bus pass.  This lady welcomed customers warmly and engaged each in conversation.  John was struck by her enthusiasm.  He listened to some of her life experiences.

She worked in the company C & A in Belfast.  She turned in for work looking the part, well suited and make up, perfect.  She spent her money on the latest fashion and good food.  After marriage she decided to give up work and rear her children.  She found that she was able to manage without the extra income her job could have offered.  She survived without the latest fashion and the best of food.  She learned to budget and enjoy being home with the children.

When her children were reared she went back to education and got qualifications to teach, which she did till she retired.  On retirement she launched into some other activity. This lady has important life experiences and is sharing them with anyone who will listen.  She is not giving up.  She is living life to the full.  Her leaf is not withering and she is bearing fruit at old age.

Washing Dishes

Brendan and I are visiting with our son Aaron and family.  Marta, our daughter in law has just had a new baby boy!  A new baby causes a big adjustment in any family.  Mum isn’t just as available as before to see to the other children or see to her housework.  She is busy feeding her baby and coping with the after shock of giving birth.  All the change in the family helps the other children grow up.  Another step to maturity.  Help is needed to wash clothes, dishes, shopping and cooking.  Aaron and Marta will get through this phase.  We can encourage them because we have survived child rearing to tell the tale.

Another fulfillment of the promise from Psalm 128 v 6,  “You shall see your children’s children.”

To help after dinner Brendan and I washed the dishes.  This brought back memories of the small kitchen in our first home.  There was no room for two people to stand at the sink.  The kitchen was the coldest part of the house.  I didn’t want to stay there too long after dinner.  No making wishes over dishes in the sink!

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Brendan did some improvement to shelves and cupboards.  Dishwashers were not common in any household then.  My wish over dishes was to have a dishwasher.  I bought a second hand machine for fifty pounds!  It was a good buy at the time.  The children cheered.  No more standing in the cold kitchen washing dishes by hand.

We have always lived in older houses.  The kitchen always needed updated in each one.  Modern houses come with inbuilt washing machines, cookers, sinks and work tops.  The big bedrooms and big living rooms in the older houses compensated for the small kitchens. The dishwasher has continued to be an important item in my kitchen. It serves a great  purpose for any housewife.

Bless The Lord Oh My Soul

Bless The Lord oh my Soul and all that is within me bless his Holy Name.

Jesus died on the cross and arose from the grave.  He appeared to his disciples over a period of forty days.  He ate with them and talked with them.  How comforting it would have been for them to spend time with Jesus and hear him explain what happened.

“On one occasion, while he was eating with them, he gave them this command: “Do not leave Jerusalem, but wait for the gift my Father promised, which you have heard me speak about. For John baptized with water, but in a few days you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit.”

But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.””
‭‭Acts‬ ‭1:4-5, 8‬ ‭NIV‬‬

The Holy Sprit fell on the disciples with tongues of fire in the Upper Room.  They received power from the Holy Spirit to go out and boldly tell others that Jesus was their Saviour  sent from God.  The disciples were uneducated men, yet when they received the Holy Spirit they spoke with clarity and authority without fear about Jesus.

The gospel is continuing to reach the ends of the earth.  I am in Slovakia at the moment in the High Tatras.  One could call it an end of the earth.  I am far away from home.  The Holy Spirit has given me power to be a witness for what Jesus has done in my life.  I am telling men, women and children about my family and healing from Cancer.

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It was by the power of the Holy Spirit that I carried and reared fourteen children and am alive to tell the tale.

When I was young I had rheumatic fever which left me with a weak heart.  The doctors advised that I should only have one child.  I got married and had two children.  I was home looking after my family.  When my two children started school I was keen to have another child.  After some time passed I prayed and asked God for a child.  I said I will give my life to you if you give me another child.  I became pregnant and continued to have children.  God gave me the strength.  God must have healed my heart!

When I developed bowel cancer and it had advanced to stage four, I was very weak and giving up on life.  Others prayed to God for me to be healed.  As time passed I received power from the Holy Spirit to fight the sickness and overcome.

The same Holy Spirt will give me strength tonight to be a witness at the end of the earth that Jesus has arose from the dead, has forgiven sin, healed sickness, and brought deliverance.  I will be destroying some works of the devil.

Bless The Lord all my Soul.

My Energy gets A Recharge

My energy levels needed a recharge after a busy season.

My husband always arranges a holiday when we both need to take a break from work and the business of home life and recharge our batteries.  We already visited Kerry at the beginning of August.  It was now September.  Ruth and Stuart offered us a stay in their cottage in Scotland.  A chance to take in the beauty of West Scotland and rest before we go on mission to Slovakia.  More recharging of our energy.

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One evening on our return from Scotland, my daughter left a bunch of flowers on the counter when she came in from a busy day’s work.  Dinner had to be rustled together for seven hungry people.  The flowers lay in the midst of someone cutting bread, or making coffee, dirty dishes and saucepans.  Life went on.  No attention was given to the flowers.  When family were fed, dishes cleared, washed, individuals filtered away to rest.  I needed to rest after a hectic day.  The bunch of flowers were still on the bench.

Another daughter was packing up to leave for university.  My fourteenth child, is starting her final year at Edinburgh Univerity.  Last minute arrangements had to be attended to.  Boarding pass at the ready, who would leave her to the port, where is my hair dryer, did you see my purse?  She came in and out of my room asking me questions.  She was getting fraught.  In the end she relaxed in a hot bath and washed away all her stress.

There was no time to get sad at her leaving.  Angela has been home for the summer and has been a blessing to her mum and dad and other family that stayed.  She introduced a summer camp for some of her nieces and nephews.  They had a great time.  The sun shone, they canoed, swam, shopped, face painted, cycled, had barbecues, and enjoyed their wee cousins.  It was the highlight of the holidays for Maggie Sue.

Other events this summer have included our son Isaac’s wedding in Canada, our first grandson’s Confirmation, a grandchild’s baptism, our son Patrick’s wedding in Scotland, a new grandchild, our forty fifth anniversary and my sixty fifth birthday, family visiting from Canada for the wedding, visits to Kerry, Arran and Tarbert,  having two American families stay at different times, and hosting a Gathering in Corrymeela.

I’m taking a deep breath just now.  But Praise God I am alive and not dead from cancer in the grave.  I am alive to see my children married and see my children’s children.  God has been gracious to our family.  I am being restored in the midst of life.  It is not a time for me to put my feet up.

Later that night I went down to the kitchen when the house was quiet.  The flowers were still on the bench unopened.  Everything else was cleared away.  I undid the wrapping, fetched a vase, cut off unnecessary leaves and arranged my flowers into beautiful display.  I admired the gift my daughter brought home for me.  There was no celebration to mark.  Just to show me her appreciation and love. This touched my heart.

“Children are a gift from the LORD; they are a reward from him.”
Psalms‬ ‭127:3‬ ‭NLT‬‬

I often receive rewards from my children and husband, especially gifts and holidays.  I have been enjoying the roses after the dust of the summer has settled.  They all help to recharge my energy levels.

https://dailypost.wordpress.com/prompts/recharge/

In Memory of Nannie

I read in the local paper that Catholic missionaries are visiting each home in the parish over the next three weeks.  Attendance at Church each Sunday is dwindling.  It is twenty years since the last mission.

I remember there being a mission in our parish every few years when I was growing up.  People were encouraged in their faith by the visiting speakers.  It was an opportunity to renew one’s faith in God.

My daughter had a remembrance dinner for her Nannie, my husband’s late mother, recently.  She died two years ago around this time at the ripe age of ninety four.  Shann was telling me that Nannie, who was a widow and her sons had left home, kept a missionary every time there was a mission in her parish in Lurgan.  I never knew this about Nannie.

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Next week Brendan and I are going on a mission to Slovakia.  Brendan has travelled to many nations.  She now has missionaries in her own family.  Who knows what blessing has come to her family because of her hospitality to the man of God.  She received her reward on the earth and in heaven.

I am reminded of the story of the widow from Zarephath who let Elijah the prophet stay with her when there was a famine in the land.  She was going to make her last meal when Elijah passed by.  He asked her to give him water and food and she did.  He said to her,

“For this is what the Lord, the God of Israel, says: ‘The jar of flour will not be used up and the jug of oil will not run dry until the day the Lord sends rain on the land.’ ”
She went away and did as Elijah had told her.
So there was food every day for Elijah and for the woman and her family.
For the jar of flour was not used up and the jug of oil did not run dry, in keeping with the word of the Lord spoken by Elijah.”  1 Kings 17 v 14 – 16.

Later the widow’s son died.  Elijah brought him back to life.  So Elijah worked two miracles for the widow because she let him stay with her.

Nannie was very generous with her widow’s pension.  Her source of provision never ran out.  Money seemed to turn up for her.  There was always a welcome in her home for the poor person.  Nannie would admit herself she was not perfect.  But she believed in what The Word of God says, ” pure religion is to look after the widow and the poor.”

When we would visit she always wanted us to pray for her before we left.  She had an overcoming spirit even though she had many sorrows in her life.  She was widowed since she was thirty years old.   She always sent our children money to help them at university.  She gave money to Brendan when he travelled.  Only God knows her sacrifices.  Our children are blessed because of their Nannie.

“but showing love to a thousand generations of those who love me and keep my commandments.”
‭‭Exodus‬ ‭20:6‬ ‭NIV‬‬

She is with the great cloud of witnesses looking on.

Be an Expert in Prayer

If one is in any kind of trouble he wants someone who is an expert in that area to help.  If your car breaks down you call a mechanic.  If you have a burst pipe in the house you call the plumber.  If the electric wires are not working you call an electrician.  You don’t call a plumber to fix the electrics.  If you need a house built you call a builder.  If you need to sell your house you call someone who can market your house.  If you need legal advice you call a lawyer.

If one’s body is the trouble he calls the doctor.  The doctors can help by diagnosing his disease.  He will give his professional advice and prescribe drugs or advise surgery if necessary. It is marvellous the advances in medical care in the 21st century in the west and we get to benefit from it.

I discovered in my research, that people who have cancer in Russia do not have the expertise in health care we can avail of here in the United Kingdom. What can they do?  What about people in third world countries who do not have medical care?

I realised early on in my journey through cancer that the doctors helped in my diagnosis and recommended radiotherapy and radiotherapy, then an operation.  At no time did they offer a complete cure.  I went along with their treatment but in my heart I was sad because I didn’t want to have part of my body cut away.

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I looked for another way.  Was there any other expert that could offer me complete healing.   I read about Jesus in the bible.  He healed all people who had all kinds of diseases.  I also found out God gives experts in the Church who have different gifts to help the people.  Some people have the gift of healing.  So if one is sick call the experts in healing.  Call those who believe in God, who know how to pray, and help spiritually to bring healing to the mind and body.

Call people who believe God answers prayer, people who believe that God heals.  People who already have experienced healing.  One wants to be around those who have faith and who love and help one through the days of loneliness, fear, and sickness.

For one day I had the symptoms of sickness and wretching, side effects from having treatment from chemotherapy and radiotherapy.  Wretching alone made me feel weak and fearful.  My body and mind could not take any more pain.  I passed out.  During that morning two people rang me.  One lady felt The Lord prompted her to ring me and pray for me.

Knowing God alerted someone who knew how to pray comforted me.  She prayed for me and she brought me peace.  My niece rang me and said God told her to ring me and pray for me.  He told her to remind me it was God who taught me to pray.  Again I was overwhelmed with God’s love for me.  He sent help.  I am so thankful God preserved me from pain, burning and sickness.

Fear of death can overwhelm the cancer sufferer.  It can leave one with no courage to fight.  So one lies down under the sickness and loses the will to live.  I had been bleeding for three years from my colon but I thought it would go away.  I thought the blood could be coming from heamoroids or colitis.  I believed that God can heal and have prayed for others who have been healed.  At no time did I think of cancer.

I eventually came to realise my condition was not improving, but getting worse, I told my husband.  I needed others to help me.  We went to the hospital.  The doctor examined me and referred me on to the oncology specialist.  It seemed I had cancer.  I was numb and was relieved that my condition was discovered.  I now knew the truth.  I was too weak to care.  I had no fight left.  I was not in control any more.  I was now dependant on the help of experts, the doctors to diagnose the condition and those who believe that God heals.

The news hit my husband and children hard.  They were sad but not hopeless or overwhelmed.  They loved Mum and didn’t want me to die.  They believed God would come to our aid in my time of despair.  They gathered around me the first night and prayed for my healing.  My family arose as an army to fight fear, cancer and death.  The war was on.  They became experts at praying.

We were in a spiritual battle.  When someone comes into your house to steal your property will you stand by and let them steal it?   No you will put up a fight to put the robber out or call the police for help.  So it was with my family.  The devil was bringing cancer and death to their mum to steal her away from them.  They believed God and spoke God’s promise over my life that I shall not die and by the stripes of Jesus I am healed

Scriptures say the thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full. (‭John‬ ‭10‬:‭10‬ NIV)

Jesus was referring to the evil one,  the Devil who comes to kill.   The Devil is a spiritual being and one cannot fight him physically.  But we can fight him and defeat him with Gods spiritual weapons of war.  Jesus came on earth to destroy the works of the Devil.  He preached the gospel of the Kingdom of God, for people to turn to God away from sin and He would forgive their sins and heal their diseases.  He died on the cross and shed his Blood.  If we accept his sacrifice we will be healed.  By his stripes we are healed.

The weapons to defeat Satan are faith in God, speaking out the Name of Jesus, and saying the Blood of Jesus is against you Satan and walking in peace, forgiving others as Jesus has forgiven us our sins.

If I am in trouble I want to call someone who is an expert at praying and who knows how to pray to God and get results.  I needed prayer warriors who were not afraid of the enemy and had the right weapons and armour to win the battle.  As news of my trouble spread people prayed for me.

After my family prayed for me, the bleeding stopped within a week.  The battle was on and my family was winning.  The healing from Cancer began.

God promises to be with us in trouble.

“Because he loves me,” says the Lord, “I will rescue him; I will protect him, for he acknowledges my name. He will call on me, and I will answer him; I will be with him in trouble, I will deliver him and honor him. (‭Psalm‬ ‭91‬:‭14-15‬ NIV)

If I am sick I want to call someone who is an expert at praying for my healing.

https://dailypost.wordpress.com/prompts/expert/

The Sound of the Wind

One evening recently it was stormy.  I heard the sound of the wind.  The wind was blowing through the trees of the forest nearby.  I was enjoying listening to the rustle of leaves.  I was working in the garden at the back of the house.  The sun was shining.  I was alone.

Later that day I was reading from John 3 in the scriptures.

Jesus said, “The wind blows wherever it pleases. You hear its sound, but you cannot tell where it comes from or where it is going. So it is with everyone born of the spirit.”
‭‭John‬ ‭3:8‬ ‭NIV‬‬

The wind stirring around the house reassured me of God’s presence by his Holy Spirit.

When Jesus disciples were in the Upper Room there came a mighty wind.

“When the day of Pentecost came, they were all together in one place. Suddenly a sound like the blowing of a violent wind came from heaven and filled the whole house where they were sitting. They saw what seemed to be tongues of fire that separated and came to rest on each of them. All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues as the Spirit enabled them.”
‭‭Acts‬ ‭2:1-4‬ ‭NIV‬‬

The disciples went out from that room and the people from the nations that were gathered in in the city heard them speaking in their languages.  This was the work of the Holy Spirit.  He empowered the disciples, who were ordinary men to speak boldly about Jesus and tell them, Jesus had just recently died.  Jesus had come on earth from heaven.  He worked miracles by the power of the Holy Spirit.  He told his disciples they would do even greater signs to testify that God was speaking through them.

The disciples spoke to the crowds about Jesus death and how he had provided a way for mankind not to perish but have eternal life.

Listen for the sound of the wind.